From Dracula to duffel coats, these are the programmes to set a reminder for—or circle in the TV guide—nowby Chris Harvey / December 7, 2019 / Leave a comment
A Bear Called Paddington & A Man Called Michael
BBC Two, Boxing Day (to be confirmed)
With Paddington 2 ambling into several films of the decade lists, this well-timed documentary revisits the bear from “darkest Peru” and his maker. Michael Bond was in his early thirties when he first drew on his memories of wartime evacuee children to shape Paddington’s personality (whose famous blue duffel coat, drawn by original illustrator Peggy Fortnum, was based on Bond’s army surplus one). The Brown family were modelled on his parents.
BBC One, New Year’s Day
Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have returned to the Victorian era to dig up another of its great literary creations in this much-anticipated take on Bram Stoker’s novel. Not updated to the present, this Dracula features a forbidding Transylvanian castle, crucifixes aplenty and lots of blood. Danish actor Claes Bang, above, plays the Count. Gatiss has a genuine feel for horror and Moffat’s narrative invention can be dazzling. Expect a rigidly faithful adaptation at your peril.
Sky One, 17th January
In 2019, Sky Originals gave us the outstanding Chernobyl, and this tense British political thriller gets their 2020 off to a strong start. A massive solar storm threatens to knock out the National Grid for months, plunging the UK into anarchy. The title refers to the Cabinet Office Briefing Room. Robert Carlyle and David Haig, as the warring Tory PM and Home Secretary, are both impressive, as is Victoria Hamilton as a tough Chief of Staff. Writer Ben Richards, a veteran of Spooks, has talked about the “obvious parallels” between his scenario and civil unrest after a no-deal Brexit.